The Chest

May 7, 2013
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After visiting Grandma in the hospital I stop at her house before I went up the street to my house. I unlock the door smelling her last meal she had at home, goetta sandwiches. She asked me to get her crocheting for her so she wasn’t so bored in the hospital. I walk slowly down the hall to her room.

Opening the door I always notice the glass dolls, old hair brushes, combs, and mirrors sitting on her dresser. The crochet bag is sitting on the floor next to her bed and I snag it with a quick motion. Then I realized no one was home to stop me. I drop the bag and speed walk over to the dark brown chest sitting in the corner.

The chest is a beautiful piece of furniture. Grandma told me that Grandpa made it when he visited Germany. I never really stared at it to notice it is very detailed. Brass buckles and a dark brown finish on the wood, but not too dark to where you can’t see the wood grain. I run my fingers lightly over the lid, realizing there are very fine carvings in the wood. I bent down to stare at them closer. There are symbols unrecognizable covering the whole chest. The golden lock on the chest gleaned from the sunshine.

“The lock is unlatched!” I thought to myself. I sat indian style and open the chest slowly. When I look inside I’m completely baffled. A nice black suit laying on top of mountains upon mountains of photographs. I could smell the old pictures. Many of the pictures are polaroids and others regular. I could see thumbtack holes through the corners. From one glance I knew they were all important to my Grandmother.

I grab a stack of images of the top. All of them had Grandpa in them. Him working in a yard, riding a horse, holding a puppy, in a suit for his prom, standing in front of a house with a sold sign in the yard. “He was very handsome back in the day.” I thought. I continue to rummage through hundreds of pictures. Seeing my grandparents in love.

There’s only one thing left in the ostentatious chest was the black suit. Picking up the suit jacket a pure white bow tie with a small red stain falls out. I stick my hands in the pockets and find another picture. It’s my grandparents wedding day. They both are sitting down with the wedding party eating steak, green beans and a roll. My grandma has laugh lines sketched on her face. My grandpa is laughing and looking down at his bowtie while holding an empty fork covered in steak sauce. Everyone sitting beside the newlyweds were laughing and pointing at his bowtie. I smile at this picture thinking that if I were there I would laugh too.

I slowly put everything away again but the wedding picture. Once everything is back in I stare down at the organized chaos and smile. Wondering what every worn down picture meant to the person holding it. Realizing there is so many small moments waiting to be captured and remembered.

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